As the year winds down, several Pittsburgh boutiques are gearing up for their first holiday shopping season.
Some of them are brand new to the local retail scene. Others have recently relocated, or are making a fresh start after owning other stores in the past. Together they boast apparel and accessories for someone on your gift list. Here is a sampling of these budding boutiques:
Culture Cloz, 117 N. Highland Ave., East Liberty: Rukiya McNair appreciates handmade, fair trade clothes and accessories, but beyond e-commerce sites she knew of few places in Pittsburgh to find them. In response, she opened her boutique this fall and stocked it with handmade and fair trade fashions, jewelry and shoes. She also likes to travel and picks up pieces from her trips for the store. Among the most popular items she carries are shoes handmade in Peru.
On average, apparel runs from about $15-$120. Winter hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. Information: www.culturecloz.com or 412-361-2569.
Jules Pittsburgh, 4502 Butler St., Lawrenceville: Fashion-savvy men and women will crave these selections of higher-end apparel by labels such as DL1961, Joe's Jeans, C&C California and Velvet curated by fashion publicist-turned-boutique owner Julia Weiskopf. The store also has looks by Pittsburgh-based designers.
Most merchandise runs from about $100-$300. Check it out 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Information: julespittsburgh.com or 412-687-2000.
Kenny & Jee's men's clothing, 542 Merchant St., Ambridge: Kenny Crumb's slogan for his men's casual and formal wear store is "where men dress for success." It carries cashmere and cotton shirts, silk neckwear, trench coats and more by brands such as Solo 360, E.J. Samuel and Daniel Ellissa at varied price points.
Shop 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. Information: Kenny & Jee's on Facebook or 724-318-8670.
Kizmit Boutique by Venetia, 510 Station St., Bridgeville: Venetia Torre has more than 20 years of retail experience. Her latest boutique specializes in helping women freshen up their wardrobe with just a few new items. Ms. Torre also caters to repeat shoppers by always keeping an eye out for different vendors to feature.
Prices are shopper friendly, with much merchandise in the $50-$150 range. The shop is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. Information: www.kizmitboutique.com or 412-221-5151.
Mid-Atlantic Mercantile, 4415 Butler St., Lawrenceville: Emily Slagel opened the mercantile earlier this year as an alternative to fast fashion brands and big box stores. It specializes in independent designers and American heritage brands, with about 90 percent of its inventory U.S.-made.
On average, pieces span from about $50-$400. Browse its selections 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Information: www.mid-atlanticmercantile.com or 412-965-4095.
MoZaic, 1597 Washington Pike, Collier Town Square: Nancy Gilmore's "artistic accessories store" celebrated this fall its grand re-opening in a new location. Previously located in Bridgeville, the boutique's accessories blend art with fashion, she says, and apparel is all by small boutique lines not found in mainstream department stores.
For more conservative spenders, there are more affordable options such as artisan-made earrings for $12.50. Handcrafted watches or tapestry boots can run as high as $300 or $400.
Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays before Christmas, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Information: www.mozaicboutique.com or 412-275-3787.
Principessa Boutique, 1445 Washington Road, Washington, Pa.: Call it a fantasy land of fashion for the stylistas of tomorrow. This children's boutique owned by sisters Bernadette Santucci, Jill Stiehler and Natalie Welsh carries clothing (infant through size 10-12), shoes and accessories, as well as kids' dance apparel, by brands such as Mustard Pie, Ruffle Butts and Persnickety. Ready-to-buy and custom handmade ragdolls have been another popular draw.
Price points vary from a few dollars for accessories to $200 outfits. Visit 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, with hours extended until 7 p.m. Thursdays. Information: Principessa on Facebook or 724-884-5334.
Splurge, 1112 Freeport Road, O'Hara: Home decor and hostess gifts are focuses of this boutique, owned by interior designer Kym Pelcher, but it also caters to fashionistas with jewelry, handbags and scarves. Some customer favorites: infinity scarves and leather bracelets with Swarovski crystal accents.
Prices target a range of budgets, with bracelets typically running from about $50-$250 and purses at $75-$600. Stop by 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Information: www.splurge-shop.com or 412-252-2242.
In other Pittsburgh fashion news:
Asbury Hats Christmas open house: Finish off a holiday look with a new hat! The boutique at 1505 Asbury Place, Squirrel Hill, will offer 30 percent off all merchandise and 80 percent off final clearance items from noon-4 p.m. today.
Information: Asbury on Facebook or 412-651-8229.
For more from PG fashion writer Sara Bauknecht, check out the PG's Stylebook blog at www.post-gazette.com/stylebook. Follow her on Twitter @SaraB_PG.